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Child and Adolescent Development in Context

Child and Adolescent Development in Context

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December 2019 | 600 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Like children themselves, development is dynamic. In the chronologically organized Child and Adolescent Development in Context, award-winning author Tara L. Kuther frames development research in real-life contexts, including gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and more. Kuther presents highly relatable examples, vivid cross-cultural stories, and case studies of real individuals, consistently prompting students to reflect on chapter content with What do you think? questions. The book emphasizes three core themes: the centrality of context, the importance of research, and the applied value of developmental science; students will come away with an understanding of these themes that they will immediately be able to apply to their own lives and future careers.

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Teach a course on infants and children? Kuther's Infants and Children in Context covers ages 0-12 and is available now. Learn more.

Also of Interest: Case Studies in Lifespan Development by Stephanie M. Wright presents a series of 12 case studies shaped by the contributions of real students to build immersive examples that readers can relate to and enjoy. Bundle Case Studies in Lifespan Development with Child and Adolescent Development in Context for only $5 more!

List of Boxed Features



About the Author

Unit I: Foundations of Child and Adolescent Development
Chapter 1: Understanding Human Development: Approaches and Theories
Understanding Development

Basic Issues in Developmental Science

Theories of Child Development

Research in Human Development

Chapter 2: Biological and Environmental Foundations of Development
Genetic Foundations of Development

Chromosomal and Genetic Problems

Reproductive Choices

Heredity and Environment

Chapter 3: The Prenatal Period, Birth, and the Newborn
Prenatal Development

Environmental Influences on Prenatal Development


The Newborn

Unit II: Infancy and Toddlerhood
Chapter 4: Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood
Body Growth

Brain Development During Infancy and Toddlerhood

Early Learning Capacities

Sensation and Perception During Infancy and Toddlerhood

Motor Development During Infancy and Toddlerhood

Chapter 5: Cognitive Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood
Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory

Information Processing Theory

Individual Differences in Cognitive Abilities

Language Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Chapter 6: Socioemotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood
Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Emotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Temperament in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Attachment in Infancy and Toddlerhood

The Self in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Unit III: Early Childhood
Chapter 7: Physical Development in Early Childhood
Growth and Motor Development

Brain Development

Promoting Health in Early Childhood

Threats to Health and Well-Being

Chapter 8: Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
Cognitive-Developmental and Sociocultural Reasoning in Early Childhood

Information Processing in Early Childhood

Language Development in Early Childhood

Moral Development in Early Childhood

Early Childhood Education

Chapter 9: Socioemotional Development in Early Childhood
Emerging Sense of Self

Emotional Development in Early Childhood


Gender Stereotypes, Gender Differences, and Gender Development

Play and Peer Relationships in Early Childhood

Unit IV: Middle Childhood
Chapter 10: Physical Development in Middle Childhood
Growth and Motor Development

Brain Development

Physical Activity in Middle Childhood

Threats to Health in Middle Childhood

Chapter 11: Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood
Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood


Moral Reasoning in Middle Childhood

Language Development in Middle Childhood

Learning and Schooling in Middle Childhood

Chapter 12: Socioemotional Development in Middle Childhood
Psychosocial Development in Middle Childhood

Gender Development

Peer Relationships in Middle Childhood

Families in Middle Childhood

Unit V: Adolescence
Chapter 13: Physical Development in Adolescence

Brain Development in Adolescence

Adolescent Health

Adolescent Sexuality

Chapter 14: Cognitive Development in Adolescence
Cognitive Development

Adolescent Moral Development

Schools and Academic Functioning in Adolescence

Postsecondary Education And Employment

Chapter 15: Socioemotional Development in Adolescence
Psychosocial Development: The Changing Self

Adolescents and Their Parents

Adolescents and Their Peers

Problems in Adolescence

Name Index
Subject Index


Instructor Resource Site

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Student Study Site


The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.

Child and Adolescent Development in Context is an introductory text for child development that focuses on application of the information, an emphasis on context including culture, and also incorporates updated research on how the brain develops and influences development.”

Cassendra M. R. Bergstrom
University of Northern Colorado

“Tara L. Kuther has written a textbook that captures the most current aspects of developmental science with its emphasis on context and both current and classic studies of human development while managing to include opportunities for students to apply this new knowledge to their own lives. The textbook is visually engaging and will also help students learn the material with several helpful meta-cognitive features, such as Thinking in Context and Apply Your Knowledge.”

Dawn K. Kriebel
Immaculata University

“A new chronological child/adolescent development text that spans from early childhood though emerging adulthood with a specific emphasis on diversity and context in development. The book gives lots of good, modern examples about individual difference (e.g., transgender children) and modern issues (e.g., consent)."

Veronica Fruiht
Dominican University of California

“An easily understandable text that engages students in active learning.” 

Debra L. Schwiesow
Creighton University

Department decided to teach the course by topic vs chronologically. But this is an amazing text!

Randi Osburn
Child Development, Los Medanos College
August 27, 2020
Key features
  • This text is available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools—including video—all designed to enable students to better prepare for class. Learn more.
  • Lives in Context video cases build on the contextual examples that the author includes in the text, looking at the ways in which biological, cultural, community, family, racial / ethnic, and socioeconomic factors influence development. The videos include expert interviews, news clips, and observational studies that show children performing tasks at various stages of development.
  • A Lives in Context box program illustrates contexts drawn from the real world and their connections to one another, including international adoption and child outcomes, exposure to war and terrorism and children’s development, the effects of neighborhood on development, HIV infection in newborns, and the impact of family stress on health.
    • Lives in Context: Biological Influences boxes tied to each chapter’s learning objectives cover cutting-edge biological topics and prompt students to think critically about each concept. 
    • Lives in Context: Community Context boxes raise issues related to the context of community and push students to consider real world implications of concepts connected to chapter learning objectives.
    • Lives in Context: Cultural Context boxes ask students to consider traditions from the cultural context and then to think critically about how culture affects development.
    • Lives in Context: Family and Peer Context boxes discuss the family context related to each chapter and challenge learners to apply chapter content to the real world. 
    • Lives in Context: Media and Technology boxes address media and technology and their effects on development at each stage. Learners are prompted to synthesize chapter learning and apply knowledge to real world examples.
  • What do you think? questions appearing after Lives in Context boxes help students connect their own experiences to concepts as they read.
  • Intersectional Influences on Development examine the ways in which constructs of race, gender, socioeconomic level, and other variables interact and influence development.
  • Applying Developmental Science boxes illustrate current research in developmental science and how it may be applied. Examples include the effects of post-partum depression, infant sign language, autism and theory of mind, and children’s suggestibility.
  • Chapter-opening vignettes describe a child and his/her circumstances. Throughout the chapter, questions embedded in the Thinking in Context boxes ask students to consider how the material applies to the child’s circumstances and development.
  • Thinking in Context questions encourage readers to compare concepts, apply theoretical perspectives, and consider applications of research findings presented. In addition, each boxed feature concludes with critical thinking questions that challenge students to assess and evaluate the issues highlighted in that feature. 
  • Chapter-opening learning objectives, end-of-chapter summaries, and end-of-chapter review questions that return to learning objectives recap the key concepts presented in the chapter. 
  • Apply Your Knowledge sections ask students to apply their understanding to address a particular situation or problem.
Vantage Reference: 
Child and Adolescent Development in Context - Vantage Learning Platform

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